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A slow-running drain can get on your nerves fast. After all, standing shin-deep in soap suds when you’re almost done taking a shower is never a pleasant experience. A sluggish drain can not only ruin your showers, but can also affect your kitchen or bathroom sinks and cause them to over flow. A drain backup is messy and ugly in almost every situation and it needs solutions immediately. However, before we get into fixing sluggish drains, let’s look at what could be causing them in the first place so that we can apply appropriate solutions.

What Causes Slow Drains?

Most professional plumbers will tell you that it is calcification within the pipes that leads to a sluggish flow through the sewer lines. As soaps, debris, and other oil-based body and hair care products are washed down the drain, they accumulate inside the pipes over time. This calcification goes on to narrow the passageway for the water within the pipes which causes a sluggish drain issue on the outside for you.

Another reason can be a slump in the sewer line also known as a pipe belly. Sewer lines are naturally sloped so the water flows down into the septic tank or the sewer main. The pipe belly disrupts that process and slows down the drain.

Here’s What You Can Do

The following are some ways you can fix the sluggish drain. Some of them are simple and quick fixes, while others may require professional assistance.

A Plunger Can Help

A plunger can be a handy tool to try in most sluggish drain situations. Whenever you feel like the sink is not draining freely, a plunger can be used to dislodge the debris and hair that may have accumulated in the pipe. To ensure that your plunging efforts are effective, remember to stuff the sink overflow with a rag or cover it up with a duct tape before you use the plunger. This will form a seal which is required to clear out a blocked pipe.

Remove the Drain Stopper to Inspect and Gain Access

Remove the stopper by unscrewing and taking off the overflow plate. The stopper could be wedged in a semi closed position which disrupts the flow of water and causes it to drain slowly. Fix it by positioning the stopper correctly using the nuts and locks that bind it to the threaded rod. If the drain stopper seems to be in place and working just fine, then it could be a clog that is causing the sluggish drain.

If all of this sounds like too complex a task, you can always seek professional help.

Plumbers’ Snake

Using a plumber’s snake is one of the most inexpensive DIY methods to fix a slow running drain. This is especially useful when dealing with a clogged and a sluggish bathtub drain.

But how can you use a plumber’s snake to unclog the bathtub drain? It’s simple; just shove the snake down the drain till you’ve reached the clog. Twist the handle and pull clog back out. Then, run the water through it to see if the clog has completely been removed. If not, repeat the process till required.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

A homemade drain cleaner is an easy and simple way to clear the drains after the large debris have been taken care of. A mild homemade drain cleaner made by combining baking soda and vinegar will help to clear up the drains of any leftover muck and grime lining the insides of the pipes. Furthermore, unlike commercial drain cleaners, this does the job safely and without harming the drainage pipes in the long run.

Flush Out and Tune Up the Water Heater Tank

Quite a few times, the water heater may be the cause of a problem. Pipes are often coated with minerals due to the workings of the water heater. As the water is heated, the minerals in it transform into a sticky and powdery substance. This substance, known as limescale, accumulates on the inner walls of the sewer pipes as well as other plumbing fixtures as the water flows through.

This calls for flushing out the heater’s tank to get rid of the sedimentation inside. Therefore, ensuring timely water heater maintenance can save you from this limescale sedimentation becoming a cause of the sluggish drain issue at hand. You should have your drains flushed at least once every year. Houses that are supplied with well water may need to have it done more often as well water has a higher mineral content.

Install a Water Softener

Installing a water softener to your water supply system is a more permanent solution to the slow running drains across your house. Do so after you’ve had the heater’s tanks flushed out and the pipes de-scaled. This will ensure that the water softener works effectively and results in cleaner pipes.

A water softener is essentially used to dissolve the sediments within the water. Whether your house gets its water from the city water supply or the well water system, there are bound to be minerals in the water. The water softener will take care of the slow drainage caused by sedimentation in the pipes once and for all.

Depending on the cause of disruption in the flow of water and the slowed drain, any combination of the afore-mentioned solutions can be useful to solve the problem for you. If you need help with any other plumbing related issues around your house, acquire our dedicated plumbing services to take care of all your plumbing needs.

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